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The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana announces its updated public information management system - Voice Case Information System. This system provides pre-recorded human voice messages and better accessibility through four telephone lines. The system provides search capabilities using name, case number, social security number or tax id.

To access VCIS, call (866) 222-8029.

What Is VCIS?

VCIS allows you to dial the court computer from any touch tone telephone, and to hear the latest information about the case:

  • Name of debtor(s) or party
  • Debtor attorney and telephone number
  • Spelling of Debtor(s) and Attorney Names
  • Social Security Number(s) or Tax ID
  • Trustee for case
  • Case number
  • Case chapter
  • Case Type
  • Case filing date
  • Judge name
  • 341 meeting date, time and location
  • Assets and Case Status
  • Closing or Discharge Date
  • Last Date to File Claims
  • Original Chapter
  • Nature of Debtor
  • Conversion Date
  • Reopen Date
  • Re-termination Date
  • Disposition Method
  • Voluntary/Involuntary

How Do I Use It?

Just dial the number to VCIS. VCIS will instruct you on how to use the keys of your telephone to search for cases. VCIS allows five debtor's inquiry per call, however, it will provide information about all cases involving that debtor.

NOTE: The computer will instruct you to use the "1" key for the letters "Q" and "Z".

What Do I Need?

All you need is a touch tone telephone and either debtor(s) name, case number, social security number or tax Id. Once the computer verifies input, case information will be provided by the computer.

What Is The Telephone Number For VCIS?

For case information, call (866) 222-8029. If you encounter any problems, please contact our Technology Department at: (574) 968-2100.

What is the Service Availability?

VCIS is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, except when the main computer is undergoing preventative maintenance.

What Is The Charge?

The information provided through the VCIS system is FREE of charge.


Introduction/Common Questions/Sample For Voice Case Information System

One of the major tasks that a federal court must perform is to provide public information about the cases they handle. This can be done over the telephone, by answering mail requests, or assisting people who show up at the court in person.

The Voice Case Information System allows anyone with a touch tone telephone to call the court, enter a party name, case number, social security number or tax id, and have the computer read the case data directly from the court data base. This is all done automatically using a voice synthesizer and pre-recorded voice messages, so that staff is not tied up answering public inquiries. The system is simple enough that no user training or documentation is required.

To get information about any case currently in BANCAP, an individual need only have a party name, case number, social security number or tax id and a push-button telephone. Status or 341 creditor meeting information is available as soon as it is entered in the database.

What Is VCIS?

VCIS allows you to dial the court computer from any touch tone telephone, and hear the latest information about the case. Anyone can use VCIS. All that is needed is a push-button telephone. The data base is searched and essential case information is provided.

Benefits

There are significant benefits to the public with VCIS.

a. Free- no user fees

b. Convenient- access to bankruptcy information without leaving work site.

c. Easy access- virtually 24 hours a day. Most likely the only time the system will not be available is when the court is doing maintenance. Otherwise, evenings and weekends all information is available.

d. Timely information - all docket information such as, schedules and status information is available immediately. For NEW NAMES and cases there is a one day delay.

e. Fast service- all the basic case information in less than 2 minutes access time.

f. Five searches per call.

How It Works

Most of you are familiar with voice computer systems such as commonly used at a bank. These systems use pre-recorded human speech which typically only works with a few phrases such as: Enter your account no. Enter 1 for the balance - Thank you and the like.

Because there are only a few standard phrases, words, or number that the system reads to the customer, it's practical to record a human speaking the phrases and play them back when appropriate. This is really phrase assembly rather than voice synthesis.

Because there is no limit to the sorts of words- particularly party names that might need to be ready, pre-recorded speech isn't always used. Instead VCIS uses a devise called a voice synthesizer. This is a card which contains a high-powered processor running a special program, as well as dictionary of English words and standard rules or pronunciation. The synthesizer will take words transmitted by the computer and read them over the phone. The synthesizer generates words electronically. The voice-quality is not perfect, but it gets easier to understand (sounds Norwegian) as it always reads the information in the same order.

Common Questions

1. What happens if a party is in more than one case?

In most cases, VCIS will give all cases in which the party is involved. If more than 10, will give the first 10 and then refer you to the court for more information.>

2. What if have a name like ABC Limited Partnership?

No problem. Could just enter ABC and VCIS will search on that.

3. What about adversary proceeding?

No problem. Will find any party, whether plaintiff or defendant./p>

4. What if a mistake is made while in entering the name?

Since you are allowed up to five searches per call, just press #5 to re-enter your search.

5. Why can't it give the address of the party?

The search for the address would be very time consuming so in the interest of efficiency, it was decided to eliminate it.

6. What about a speculative search, when you are not sure that the person has filed?

VCIS will say 'no cases by that name on the computer.'

7. What if you were looking for Anderson and it could also be spelled Andersen?

VCIS will search on segments of a name. So you could enter Anders, and it would find either or both Anderson or Andersen. Will do this match only at the end of last name. Can't wild card at beginning or middle of name.

8. What about ampersand or other symbols that might be in a name?

Leave out special symbols when entering last name.

9. What if I wanted to search on something like AL?

Some searches you won't be able to do. AL would match too many names - Allen, Albright, etc. You need to get more information and then try again.

10. Any limit to the number of characters you can enter for the name at one time?

No limit.

11. What about Junior and Senior?

Doesn't care about Junior/Senior/First/Second

Sample Session

The following is a sample session to give you an idea of how VCIS works. Guy is interested in a particular bankruptcy case involving the debtor ABC Mutual. He would like to know the debtor's attorney and the attorney's telephone number. He picks up her telephone and dials the court's special Voice Case Information System number.

The phone is answers on the first ring, and the pre-recorded voice reads it's introductory text.

Welcome to the Voice Case Information System at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana. This system allows you 5 searches per phone call. You may search for cases using participants name, case number, social security number or tax id.

Guy is a first-time user, so he presses 1. He hears:

To select an option, use the keys on your touch tone phone. For numbers, use the keys 0 through 9. For letters, use the key with the letter above it. Use 1 key for the letters Q and Z. To search by name, enter the letters of the name followed by the # sign. Pressing the star key at anytime will allow you to begin a new search.

Choose one of the following options. Press 1 for instructions on how to use the Voice Case Information System. Press 2 to search by case number. Press 3 to search by participants name. Press 4 to search by participants social security number or tax id.

Guy presses 3 and hears:

Enter participant last name followed by first name and middle initial if possible. Omit any spaces or non letter characters. Use the 1 key for the letters Q and Z. For a company, enter full name, ignore spaces, periods and any non letter characters. Press the # sign to begin your search.

He enters the name "ABC Mutual" by pressing the keys with the correct letters on them (222688825) then the # sign to signal the end of his name input.

The computer responds with an indication that it is searching. After a brief pause, Guy hears the following pre-recorded messages and synthesized speech.

The debtor in case 96-31111 is ABC Mutual Corporation, Tax Id 123456789. The case was filed voluntarily under chapter 11 on March 7, 1996, as a business case. Assets are reported. The attorney for debtor ABC Mutual Corporation is Fred Klein, at 700-8888. The trustee is Tina Brown. The judge is the Honorable John Johnson. The case status is awaiting 341 meeting. The first meeting of creditors will be held on March 7 at 10:00 at room 201, U.S. Court House. The last day to file a claim is April 1, 1997. For more information about this case please contact the attorney, Fred Klein at 700-8888. To hear the party names spelled, press 1 or 2 for no.

It is just that simple.

Note this is a sample VCIS monologue may not match what you hear exactly. There have been minor changes and enhancements, so current VCIS systems may read a sightly different message.

Other Messages Announced by VCIS

Special Message - The Bankruptcy Court is pleased to announce its Internet Web Page, which can be accessed at www.innb.uscourts.gov. (This message may change from time to time)

Main Menu Message - Choose one of the following options. Press 1 for instructions on how to use VCIS. Press 2 to search by cases number. Press 3 to search by participants name. Press 4 to search by participants social security number or tax id.

No SSN Message - The social security number or tax id was not found, please try again.

Regrets Message - We are experiencing technical difficulties. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please try again later.

Replay Option Message -To hear the spelling of the parities name, press the 1 key to begin or 2 key for no.

SSN Wait Message - Please wait for the system to search.

Too Many Message - Too many participants were found. Please try again entering more of the name.

Bad Option Message - The key you have selected is invalid.


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